Statement delivered by 

Ms Laila Shareef, Second Secretary 

on Permanent Sovereignty of the Palestinian People in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the Occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources 

24 October 2018 

Thank you Mr Chair,  

I would like to thank the Secretary-General for the comprehensive Report submitted for consideration under this agenda item, which documents in detail, the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands, including East Jerusalem, and of the Syrian Golan. The Report is also very clear that the Israel’s policies, practices, and activities are in gross violation of international humanitarian law and human rights laws.  

The international community has failed to reverse the situation in the Occupied Palestine and Syrian Golan. It is the responsibility of each and every Member State to ensure that no country should enjoy impunity and defy the principles of international law that we, individually and collectively, pledge to uphold.   

The systematic deterioration of, and restricted access to, natural resources in the occupied Palestinian territory requires urgent attention of the international community. It is extremely worrying that 2.5 million Palestinians need humanitarian assistance, that 1.8 million Palestinians are subject to water shortages, and that 1.6 million Palestinians face food shortages. Among the most disturbing findings of the sg’s Report is that Gaza will become unliveable by 2020. These statistics point to a catastrophe that requires urgent action.  

We remain deeply concerned that instances of violence against Palestinian civilians have been on the rise, and that a large number of Palestinians, including women and children, have died and were injured during incidents that suggest unlawful killing. Risks of displacement, unsafe drinking water and sanitation, lack of basic services like healthcare and education are significant impediments to any socio-economic development in the occupied territories. Vulnerable populations like children are increasingly facing grave threats from Israeli forces, with growing instances of students being subjected to tear gas and rubber bullets and the rising number of Palestinian children detained in Israeli prisons.   

Ending the illegal Occupation is the single most important factor that would enable the Palestinians to achieve any socio-economic development. The Maldives reiterates its strong and steadfast support for the rights of Palestine, including the need for a two-state solution, as a fundamental step towards safeguarding the human rights of the Palestinian people and providing them with the right to self-determination. The Maldives calls on Israel to strictly abide by the Security Council Resolution 2334 of 2016, which demands Israel to immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestine, including East Jerusalem. In this landmark Resolution, the Security Council made it crystal clear that it will not recognise any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the two sides through negotiations.   

Respecting for, and abiding by, the Security Council Resolutions are imperative on all members of this organisation. We call on Israel to return the lands and the resources in the occupied Palestine and the occupied Syrian Golan to their rightful owners.

I thank you.